'68 Deluxe Reverb RI: loud enough?

omfg51

Member
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2,916
By this, I simply mean that the amp does not have the right amount of clean headroom, or at least it may not be enough for what I'm doing.

I picked up the amp today, played a rehearsal for a show with it, volume was constantly set at 5, plugged into the Vintage channel. It sounded FANTASTIC on its own and with my pedals, but I couldn't get it completely clean in the band mix without being too quiet. I used both single coils and humbuckers, a Tele build and a 339, and there was never a perfectly clean tone at the volume I had to play to be heard in our rehearsal mix.

Granted, I know that for this upcoming show and future shows alike, the amp will be mic'd up, so perhaps I was just pushing the amp harder than I needed to because of our rehearsal setup.

I am considering returning the amp to possibly find a '65 DRRI with the bright cap clipped, or perhaps upgrading to the '68 Vibrolux reissue. I A/B'd the '65 and '68 DRRI amps, and vastly preferred the overall tonally qualities of the '68. Although the 35w Vibrolux may be ideal, and the bright switches are perfect for changing between a single coil guitar and a humbucker guitar live, but I've never been thrilled with the idea of a 2x10 configuration. I've played them in the past, simply testing, but always preferred the tone of 12" speakers. Perhaps this Vibrolux can change my mind.

In the meantime, I'm going to play the gig and see how the amp treats me, maybe I'll find a better clean volume onstage being mic'd up.
 

Tomm Williams

Member
Messages
964
Though I'd never suggest a Bugera over a Fender, just take this as an observation. I owned a '68 DRRI and agree it was a great amp. I also owned a V22 and was stunned how good the clean channel was.
I've owned a lot of different amps over the years and that V22 might have had the best cleans of them all.

But....... It's a Bugera
 

Custom50

Member
Messages
8,519
This has always been my struggle with lower wattage amps and gig situations.
I love the tone of them, that 68 DRRI is a nice sounding amp IMO, but they just don't have the headroom I want for gigs.
Practicing, jamming, recording I love the small combos though.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
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27,047
I find 2x10 configs cut better than a 1x12 in a live band setting. I've owned the CVR in the past and now play a VVRI, the 35/40 watt 2x10 tilted back on stage just works for me. I've never heard myself better in rehearsals or shows.

Try the Custom VR, you will most likely find you like it better than the DR. :dunno
 

BeauZooka

Member
Messages
460
You might consider a speaker swap. If you have a Celestion ten 30 in there, it is not that loud (95db). A better and louder speaker could get you where you want to be.
 

BadAssBill

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,400
Pure clean tone is over rated. :)

I wonder if your speaker needs to break in a little bit? If not..I'm sure a twin will get you all the face melting clean you want.
 

tenchijin2

Member
Messages
3,023
I use my '68 CDR on stage, unmic'ed all the time. In some rooms I have a bit of trouble but rarely. 4-5 on the volume stays clean but *just* starts to break up on heavy chords.
 

BMX

Member
Messages
3,488
It's all about the mids in a band situation. Try adding a tube screamer with the drive down or if that doesn't work changing the speaker to a celestion.
 

bgio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,132
I've used a Silverface Deluxe Reverb in a band situation at times. It was never 100% clean, but definitely got the job done.

I would agree that a more efficient speaker would probably help. Eminence seems to have some pretty efficient speakers.
 

copperhead

Member
Messages
597
It's pretty simple to convert the 68CDR to a 65 DRRI or vise versa .
The 68 may breakup a little earlier due to the negative feedback but the speaker has some to do with it .
The Jensen in the 65 is a nice loud sounding clean speaker but terrible fizzy tone when used with any marshall style gain pedal .
I suggest a more efficient speaker . the Celestion V type speaker is rated at 98db which is not considered a loud speaker .
 

bluesoul

Member
Messages
4,662
If you need it super clean, that amp won't give it to you at the volume you are wanting. Slight breakup is what you will get...which for some of us is glorious. Bandmaster, Vibrolux, Pro...is what you might be looking for.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,498
I haven't had the 68RI, but have heard they are a bit dirtier than the 65RI. I can tell you this, I've been using a BFDR for 40 years at 95% of my gigs (everything but outdoors) and it's plenty loud in a 4-5 piece blues/rock band the way I use it. It's very much about speaker, bias and guitar/pedals. If you play loud the bright cap wont effect you much. I'm rarely over 3+ on the volume on my BFDR.
 

bluesoul

Member
Messages
4,662
I haven't had the 68RI, but have heard they are a bit dirtier than the 65RI. I can tell you this, I've been using a BFDR for 40 years at 95% of my gigs (everything but outdoors) and it's plenty loud in a 4-5 piece blues/rock band the way I use it. It's very much about speaker, bias and guitar/pedals. If you play loud the bright cap wont effect you much. I'm rarely over 3+ on the volume on my BFDR.
But he is setting the Vol at 5. If the volume needs to be that high, I don't think the amp will be as clean as he wants. Loud enough yes, clean enough, no. Needs more amp. A more efficient speaker could help though.
BTW...I have heard the same...that the 68RI breaks up sooner. So they say (who ever they are).
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,498
But he is setting the Vol at 5. If the volume needs to be that high, I don't think the amp will be as clean as he wants. Loud enough yes, clean enough, no. Needs more amp. A more efficient speaker could help though.
BTW...I have heard the same...that the 68RI breaks up sooner. So they say (who ever they are).
Yep, You are right on. At about 5, the vintage DR circuit just starts breaking up from there on up the dial. At 3-4 mine stays clean with guitar on 8 or so. It breaks up a little when I dime the guitar.. which is what I like. I have a Tube Screamer on (almost no gain) most of the time. For even cleaner use an MXR Micro Amp instead. An efficient speaker, JJ power tubes. Keep the bass at 4 or lower, above that, like the volume, it just adds dirt.
 

jcarpenter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,822
I know this amp very well so here are the steps you gotta take.

1. Get a Crex or Wizard speaker.
2. Place an eq pedal last in the chain to shape your tone.
2. Get a solid state rectifier converter and rebias cold to about 30ma.
3. Jump the channels and blend them use more of the vintage channel with a blend of the custom channel.

If that doesn't work, get a CVR if you really like how that amp series sounds.
 
Last edited:

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,916
Thanks for all the input guys! I recognize I have a list of options here, a few of my initial thoughts were different speaker options, I'm more seriously considering upgrading to the Vibrolux model, also perhaps before my gig, trying to use higher rated power tubes for more headroom, and also trying a lower gain preamp tube in the V1 spot. I previously owned a 40w combo that I swapped out the V1 spot 12ax7 for a 12ay7, and it cleaned up super well.

All in all, I may play with the tube config, but I'm still going to gig this amp to see how it does for me.

Ironically, my bandmates all assure me the 68 DR sounds killer!
 

woof*

Member
Messages
7,677
This has always been my struggle with lower wattage amps and gig situations.
I love the tone of them, that 68 DRRI is a nice sounding amp IMO, but they just don't have the headroom I want for gigs.
Practicing, jamming, recording I love the small combos though.
Yep...physics...22 watts is 22 watts.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,916
What might be the best set of power tubes to try with more headroom and tonal improvement? I had been thinking about the Hard Duet Tung Sol 6V6 matched pair, simply because they are one set of few that I've found that has any kind of rating for the breakup, the other option being the Groove Tubes GT6VS set.
 

bluesoul

Member
Messages
4,662
I would not spend the cash on tubes...you won't get the headroom you need at the volume you want. A speaker change maybe if it is nearly there.
I would guess for what you are wanting...you need different amp. There is not much you can do to the headroom once the volume hits 5 or up. Is what it is.
Maybe keep it for smaller rooms and get the Vibrolux for bigger rooms. Nothing wrong with having more amps!
 




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